World News anchor Diane Sawyer scored an exclusive interview with George W. Bush for Wednesday's program. Sawyer used the opportunity to pester the former president about gay marriage, prompting, "One of the issues in the party in which there seems to be some shift taking place among senators is gay marriage."
After playing a clip of Laura Bush endorsing same sex marriage, the anchor pressed as to whether Mr. Bush was "ready to weigh in." The ex-President demurred and the reporter pushed, "Not going to say if you've changed your position too?" (How often do journalists push Democrats to move to the right on an issue?) Earlier in the segment, Bush took a shot at journalists. [For that, see video below. MP3 audio here.]
There are times when I’d really like to see a liberal brain next to a conservative brain to see if there really is a physiological difference.
Consider Salon’s Joan Walsh who on MSNBC’s The Cycle Wednesday actually said the reason former President George Bush’s poll numbers are up is because President Obama is doing such a good job (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Citing an interview that Bush gave the Dallas Morning News, Robillard noted that the former president says he takes "great delight in bursting stereotypes" and snarked that "people are surprised" that he took up painting but then again, "some people are surprised I can even read." That was, of course, a swipe at hard-left critics who revel in mocking Bush's intelligence, but Politico editors decided to go the juvenile route and use it as a headline.
When I saw the recently released PPP poll concerning America's belief in "conspiracy theories," I knew someone in the media would cherry-pick it to trash conservatives.
Living down to my lowest expectations was MSNBC's Chris Matthews who on Wednesday's Hardball chose to use the poll to attack Republicans as well as "the peanut gallery for Glenn Beck and company" without ever mentioning any Democrat responses (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Erin Burnett on Monday asked former first lady Laura Bush a truly disgusting question.
In a segment about the George W. Bush Institute's Women's Initiative Fellowship Program and its involvement with a group of Egyptian women, Burnett asked Mrs. Bush if the United States needs to "accept" anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism "when we want to make change" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Hundred years hence, liberals will still be whining about Bush v. Gore.
In a television appearance as inexplicable as first lady Michelle Obama announcing the Oscar for best picture, former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor was among Rachel Maddow's guests last night, plugging her new book, "Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court." (video clip after page break)
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough had an at times heated discussion about budget deficits, debt, and the economy on PBS's Charlie Rose Monday evening.
At one point Krugman got so rattled by the facts that he actually said Scarborough quoting what he had said in the past was making an ad hominem attack against him (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Did you know that the mortgage interest deduction was a major contributor to families' distressed circumstances leading to the housing bubble? Or that George W. Bush's (really modest) tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, not the Internet bubble of the late-1990s led the nation from fiscal surplus to deficits?
The reason you don't "know" these things is that they're not true. But the Associated Press's Tom Raum thinks they are, and said so as if they are indisputable facts in an AP analysis piece (or at least I hope it was meant to be that) yesterday. In over 850 words, he also failed to note, while barely acknowleding their existence, that Republicans in the House already acquiesced to $620 billion in tax increases in return for a "whopping" $15 billion in spending cuts during the fiscal cliff deal at the end of last year. Excerpts from Raum's risible writeup follow the jump.
The Morning Joe panel was tough today on the Obama White House for threatening Bob Woodward by telling him he would "regret" his reporting that it was the Obama administration that had devised the sequester, In the course of the opening segment, various panel members described the Obama White House response as "mickey mouse," "pathetic" and "childish."
But at the same time, a theme emerged that there was nothing unusual about a White House trying to intimidate reporters. Mark Halperin said "the Bush White House regularly would engage in the same kind of tactics." And Joe Scarborough and Andrea Mitchell shared stories of having been threatened by the Bush and Reagan White Houses, respectively. Andrea named names. Scarborough did not. H/t readers Ray R. and cobokat. View the video after the jump.
On the eve of Sunday's Academy Awards presentation, former George W. Bush CIA Director Michael Hayden has made a strong statement about the hunt for Osama bin Laden film "Zero Dark Thirty."
In an interview to be aired on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday, Hayden said, "If you look at the movie, it was artistically true, not factually true. Artistically, it portrayed the CIA interrogation program, but factually it was overwrought and inaccurate" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
My nominee for Media Puppet of the Day (we should consider making such an award a daily or weekly event) is Kathleen Hennessey at the Los Angeles Times.
From her perch at the paper's Washington bureau, she wrote a pathetic story today about how President Obama is so much more relaxed now that he's in his second term. Among other howlers, Hennessey claims that "Obama's vacations have been rare, brief and regularly interrupted by crises at home and overseas." Key paragraphs -- as many as I think readers will be able to stand, and no more -- follow the jump (HT to NB commenter Gary Hall at another post; bolds are mine):
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, "fabricating" hypocrite. Her Sunday column about the lack of veracity in the current crop of award-nominated movies, "The Oscar for Best Fabrication," has some interesting revelations on the true history behind the stories of "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Lincoln."
But Dowd is the last person to credibly comment on the subject, given her own history (item #3) of fabricating quotes, in the form of leaving out vital words from her May 14, 2003 column on President Bush's pursuit of the Taliban – a tale broken on Times Watch. Dowd wrote on Sunday:
That's right -- not just Nixon ... Nixon and Bush. Can vilification from the left get much worse than that?
Cornel West continues to demonstrate why parents might want to think better of sending their children to Princeton, where West purportedly teaches when he isn't gushing over hip-hop and engaging in arcane rants over the airwaves. (audio clips after page break)
It's always interesting when liberals disagree on something because each one believes he or she is always 100 percent correct on any issue, a stance that often leads to fiery confrontations and personal attacks.
The latest example of this concept is the angry Twitter debate between Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith and Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall over an article entitled “7 Things Democrats Would Have Freaked Out About if Bush Had Done Them.”
NewsBusters readers know that one of my guilty pleasures is exposing Bill Maher's lack of knowledge on subjects he pompously pounds the table about.
On Tuesday evening, Maher gave me a doozy when he wrote on Facebook, "Wow, what a shameless liar this Marco Rubio guy is - Obama created more debt than Bush? Well, if you don't believe in science, why not math too?"
Crutsinger also erroneously reported that the government turned in its first monthly surplus since April of last year (no, it was really September of last year), told readers that "the government is spending less on some programs" without telling them that total year-to-date spending so far is up by over 3 percent compared the first four months of fiscal 2012, and made it appear as if "higher taxes for some Americans" are narrowing the budget gap a bit, when the fiscal cliff raised taxes for every employed and self-employed person who pays into the Social Security system. Other than that, he did a good job (/sarc). Exceprts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
An unsigned and undated Justice Department white paper, obtained by NBC News, reports The New York Times, "...is the most detailed analysis yet to come into public view regarding the Obama legal team's views about the lawfulness of killing, without a trial, an American citizen who executive branch officials decide is an operational leader of Al Qaeda or one of its allies."
The proviso is they must pose "an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States." If "an informed, high-level official" of the government decides they are a threat, the paper says, and if capture is not feasible, they may be killed.
Suppose our enemies declared war on us—and we didn't show up? In a variation on the pacifist line from the 60s, that's essentially what Chris Hayes has proposed as American policy.
On his MSNBC show this morning, the hopelessly naive Hayes suggested that rather than debating "big war"—boots on ground—versus "small war"—targeted strikes—we go for a third option "no war." In Hayes's fantasy-land, America declares the war on terror over and "declares itself at peace." View the video after the jump.
News that the New York Times and Washington Post kept secret until recently the secret U.S. drone base in Saudi Arabia is once again raising questions on the paper's politicized double standards on keeping state secrets related to the war on terror.
Contrast the deference paid to the Obama administration's request for secrecy, going along with the national security arguments advanced by Obama (until Wednesday's expose of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, Obama's choice to head the CIA) with how the paper routinely leaked secrets during the Bush administration that may have hurt anti-terrorist programs. Here are just some of the national security low-lights and double standards Times Watch has documented at the Times over the years.
President Obama's media acolytes must really be disappointed – they're comparing his administration's unilateral behavior in the war on terror to that of George W. Bush. The new interest was kicked off by a Justice Department document leaked on Monday that offered a legal analysis of when the president can order the targeted killing of an American citizen suspected of terrorism, without due process. Wednesday's lead New York Times article from Yemen was a rundown of the fatal drone strikes authorized by President Obama and his "kill list" coordinator John Brennan, now Obama's nominee to head the C.I.A.
The Times relegated the actual news about the leaked document to page 11, in the International section, in a "news analysis" by reporters Scott Shane and Charlie Savage that dug into the politics of the controversy under an odd, vague headline: "Report on Targeted Killing Whets Appetite for Less Secrecy."
Barack The First? Wow: who would have thought that perhaps the strongest statement yet in condemnation of President Obama's self-arrogated right to kill Americans abroad would have come from Jon Meacham? Yet on today's Morning Joe, historian Meacham—who knows something about the use and abuse of presidential power—criticized Obama for ignoring the "rule of law" and actually described Obama as acting like "an American king."
Joe Scarborough seconded Meacham's surprising statement, adding that had this come to light under George W. Bush, impeachment would be in the air. View the video after the jump.
Imagine the apoplectic Precious Perfect Special Comment rage Keith Olbermann [remember him?] would have worked himself into had this memo come to light under W . . .
Unusual candor from Mika Brzezinski and Harold Ford, Jr. on the double standard that exists for Republicans and Democrats. Discussing on today's Morning Joe the Obama administration memo that has been uncovered authorizing the use of drone strikes to kill U.S. citizens abroad, Mika admitted that there would have been a "huge controversy" if such a memo had surfaced during the Bush administration. Ford said that "Democrats have to think now about how they conducted themselves and the questions they raised about Bush administration tactics." Joe Scarborough flatly declared that had the policy come to light under Bush, it would have been "stopped" by the ensuing outcry. View the video after the jump.
Last week, President Obama blamed Republicans for the poor state of the economy.
On CNN's State of the Union Sunday, former Bush Labor Secretary Elaine Chao scoffed at this saying, "I don't know how he can say that when he had control of both the houses in the legislative branch. He had control over the White House."
Remember the media’s love affair with George W. Bush during his first term? Me neither. But PBS’s Tavis Smiley and Rolling Stone journalist and author Michael Hastings recall such a scenario. According to Hastings, the media loved President Bush from 2001 to 2005, just as they love President Obama now: “...if you look back at the first four years of the Bush administration, the media – same sort of dynamic. There was a lot of love for George W. Bush. Remember they hated Al Gore, and Bush was their favorite. And things didn’t really go south for Bush with the media until Katrina happened, and, you know, an unpopular war.”
Hastings concluded that media bias always favors the sitting president: “So the bias - the media bias is always towards power; it’s always towards whoever’s in the White House.” Smiley seconded that notion, saying, “I’m glad you said it, and I would have said it if you didn’t, which is that there is a bias toward power.” [See video after the jump. MP3 audio here]
"Chris Matthews has it exactly wrong!" NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Sean Hannity on the January 22 "Media Mash" segment, reacting to the Hardball host's effusive praise on Monday for what he insisted was a Lincolnesque inaugural address by the president. "The Gettysburg Address was an attempt at healing the nation's wounds" from the Civil War while "Obama's speech... was a left-wing declaration of war against the conservative movement, so it was the opposite of the Gettysburg Address."
Another telling exchange from MSNBC on Monday was when presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett thanked the crew of MSNBC's Morning Joe for "a good four years with you all," Fox News host Sean Hannity noted. [watch the full segment below the page break]
When GOP President George W. Bush celebrated his second inauguration in January of 2005, reporters in the political press hammered away at the cost of the event -- about $140 million -- by stating that the money could have been put to better use in the Iraq war and as aid for those caught in the earthquake and tsunami that struck southern Asia a month earlier.
Eight years later, the people in the media could barely contain their glee while covering “Party Time,” Democratic president Barack Obama's second inauguration, with little interest in the cost of the events (about $180 million) even though the nation's unemployment rate is hovering near eight percent and another battle over federal government spending looms on the horizon.